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On November 15, we celebrate the act of charitable giving. Here are some ideas to help your small association recognize this important day.

Have you thought about what your association will do to observe National Philanthropy Day?

It’s a day when people across the U.S. and Canada recognize the great contribution philanthropy makes to our society. It’s also the perfect time to think about ways your organization can honor the spirit of giving and contribute to your community.

Here are two ideas:

1. Say thank you to your organization’s donors and sponsors.
This may seem simple. But thanking your donors and sponsors for supporting your organization can be a powerful way to show gratitude and recognize the act of charitable giving. It helps your organization to remember the support you receive and honors the individuals and businesses that actively support your organization.

Send donors and sponsors an email from your executive director. Or better yet, start with a post on your online community by tagging them and sharing with all your members. Celebrate them by listing them in your email newsletter. And, consider sending them a thank you gift.

In your message, be sure to address their specific contribution. Let them know how their support has helped your organization. The more details you can provide about what their contribution has allowed your organization to do, the more likely they will be to feel appreciated.

2. Plan a service event for members of your association.
Gather volunteers (staff, members, prospective members, and folks from your local community) and set up a service event. This is a great way to engage members (and even prospective members) with each other and with your association – while demonstrating a giving spirit.

Some steps to get you started:

  • Decide how you want to serve. Think of a local school you might help out. Or a beach you might help clean up. Or consider a volunteer opportunity that supports your association’s specific industry.
  • Offer various levels of participation. Think about a service opportunity that might allow volunteers with even just a little time to participate.
  • Determine who’s doing what. Outline tasks, owners, and deadlines.
  • Line up the details. Determine the specifics of your volunteer/service opportunity. For example, if you’re volunteering for another organization, contact that group to schedule your service time and gather the specifics about how you’ll be helping.
  • Create a registration page. Build a registration page that includes the details of your service opportunity. Be sure the page makes it easy for participants to understand and sign up for various volunteer levels. And don’t forget to set up confirmation, reminder, and thank you emails.

TECH TIP: Using event management functionality in YourMembership AMS, you can easily set up and manage events. You can schedule automated confirmation, reminder, and thank you emails.

  • Get the word out. Let your members know about your event. Post about it in your online community. Include it in your next member email. Post about it on social media. Call your most involved members directly. And, make sure your board of directors knows about it – they might want to participate.

TIP: Not sure how to get an online community up and running? Read The Small Association’s Guide to Getting Started with an Online Community.

  • Follow up! Thank the members who participated in your National Philanthropy Day activity. Share a recap of your service with members via your online community, email, social media, and other communications. Include information about the impact your work had on the community, organization, and people you served.

National Philanthropy Day is a great opportunity to recognize and encourage the spirit of giving. Once you have your plans in place, take it one step further. Include @YourMembership (Twitter handle) in your social posts, and YourMembership will re-tweet your activity to help get the word out!

Learn more about YourMembership